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27 Aug

 

Inside the mid 1800s, a British family rockband toured the U.S., kind of an earlier version with the Partridge Family. However they are not the only rockband because century; indeed, rock bands are even much older than that.

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Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, includes a field of boulders that create a metallic ringing sound when struck, like they were hollow. The boulders include a volcanic basalt called diabase, and so have a great content of iron and aluminum. In 1890, Dr. J. J. Ott collected a number of these rocks with different pitches and performed using a brass band. He was not the first person to give this kind of performance.

Within the English Lake District, some ringing rocks in the mountain Skiddaw was collected in 1785 by Peter Crosthwaite, a local map publisher. He constructed a musical instrument comprising 16 stones that developed a diatonic scale spanning two octaves plus one note. The instrument is on exhibit within the region’s Keswick Museum, along with other “rock harmonicas.” The most remarkable rock harmonica is 12 feet in length, comprising five chromatic octaves of rock slabs. Being a xylophone, the slabs lie more than a sound box on ropes of straw. A handbill advertising a public performance in the mid 1800s reads:

Richardsons’

Original Monstre

Rock-band

Invented and manufactured by

Messrs Richardson and Sons

after 13 years’ incessant labour and application

from rocks dug out of the mighty Skiddaw in Cumberland (1827-1840)

Around this same time, the Till Family Rockband (yes, that has been their actual name) brought the same instrument of Skiddaw stone towards the U.S. and toured successfully. Section of their instrument is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in The big apple. The Till and Richardson families were literally the initial touring rock bands.

Ringing rocks happen to be utilized in cultures worldwide. Examples of suspended stone chime bars manufactured from marble or jade, some dating back thousands of years, are found in China. But evidence which are more ancient musical uses of ringing rocks originates from Neolithic sites including Birnin Kudu in Nigeria, where “rock gongs” put together in 1955. The rocks cluster within a hundred feet of cave paintings and appear to indicate them to be included in an ensemble. Although challenging to date with any certainty, the world’s first rock band could be 4,000 years old or more.

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27 Aug

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